Retreats & Missions
A number of locations for private or group retreats are available within driving distance. Several parish-based retreat programs are also available in the Des Moines region. Click here for a guide to retreat centers and spiritual directors prepared by the Diocese of Des Moines Office of Evangelization & Catechesis.
Des Moines, IA
You’re invited to Emmaus, an oasis of prayer and quiet in the midst of the busyness of modern life. Find stillness in the chapel, and celebrate the Lord’s healing love in the Eucharist. Emmaus House is located in an 1890’s Victorian-style home in the historic Sherman Hill neighborhood at 1521 Center Street, Des Moines. Emmaus House offers Ignatian directed retreats, private retreats, guided contemplative retreats, and group retreats.
For more information, contact Cindy Shaw at (515) 282-4839 or Sue Oehlerking (515) 401-2601 or email@example.com.
St. Benedict tells us that “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The Abbey Guest Center provides simple accommodations in an atmosphere of quiet, perfect for private prayer and reflection. We hope you will take the opportunity to join the monks for the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours in the Abbey Basilica. May your stay be spiritually refreshing and personally relaxing.
Welcome to a quiet, prayerful place in which the Spirit of God can touch the heart and move the soul. We are a full-service retreat center with excellent meeting/conference rooms, private direction rooms, overnight facilities, dining hall and a Chapel where we celebrate Mass daily. Our comfortable facilities and hospitable environment are set in 157 acres of wooded area along a river teeming with wildlife, song birds, hiking trails and an awesome night sky.
New Melleray Abbey
Weekend dates for the New Melleray Abbey guesthouse are available in 2013 for Catholic groups. There are twenty rooms available: 16 single bedrooms and four two-bed rooms. Each room has its own bathroom and shower. Towels and linens are provided. Meals are provided. Groups may bring their own person to present conferences, make personal retreats, or a monk will provide conferences upon request. To inquire or reserve rooms contact Fr. Jonah, OCSO at
(563) 588-2319, ext. 100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginning Experience can be your first step in healing and coping with the loss of your marriage partner from death, divorce, or separation. Beginning Experience weekends will be held at the St. Thomas More Center in Panora, Iowa. For more information, contact Fr. Bob Schoemann at (515)418-1938 or Jay Fredrick at (515) 981-9474.
Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP)
Christ Renews His Parish, is a spiritual renewal experience which brings adults together in small groups in order to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and each other. The substance of the weekend is the presentation of a number of talks in which individuals share their faith stories with the participants. Men’s and women’s retreats are separate. Group discussion and response are invited following each presentation. Opportunities for Scripture sharing, Reconciliation, and Eucharist are provided throughout the weekend. For more information, contact a Des Moines region parish.
Christian Experience Weekend (CEW)
The Christian Experience Weekend (CEW) is a spiritual renewal retreat. It consists of presentations, reflection, group prayer services, opportunity for Reconciliation, and Sunday liturgy. The renewal of one’s life in Christ is the focus as each participant examines his or her relationship with self, others, and God. In John 10:10, Jesus says: I came that they might have life and have it to the full. The Christian Experience Weekend gives adults an awareness and appreciation of this fullness of life.
Additional information, registration forms and brochures are available on the OLIH website. For more information, email OLIH CEW or call Jan Brown at 964-5527, Charlie Hoover at 965-5717, or the parish office at 964-3038.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME)
Worldwide Marriage Encounter emphasizes communication between husband and wife. During an encounter, spouses spend a weekend together away from the distractions and the tensions of everyday life, to concentrate on each other. For more information on encounter weekends in Iowa, visit WWME in Iowa.